Recreational vehicles such as all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), snowmobiles, and wave runners are all fun ways to enjoy the outdoors. But, too many people choose to ignore safety recommendations or laws, including wearing helmets or consuming too much alcohol when enjoying these outdoor activities. Here are some tips on staying safe and getting the most out of your recreational vehicle.
Don’t ignore the statistics. According to a recent report, nearly 700 people die each year in ATV accidents. More than 135,000 people are rushed to the emergency room each year for recreational vehicle incidents. Sadly, this figure has been rising over the past 20 years.
In many cases, people do not wear helmets or obey the safety rules of operating a recreational vehicle. If you do find yourself involved in an ATV accident, you may need to enlist the help of an experienced personal injury attorney, such as one you may find at chicago-injuryattorney.net, for advice on what to do next. If you take the necessary precautions, you will increase your chances of survival and significantly lower your risk of injury.
Always wear a helmet. One of the biggest mistakes people make is refusing to wear a helmet. Often, as adults, we make our children wear helmets on ATVs and even when riding their bicycles, but we don’t take the same precautions for ourselves. Perhaps it’s because we believe we are more experienced than our kids, but experience alone won’t always keep us safe.
Maintain control of the vehicle. Whether it is an ATV, snowmobile, or wave runner, always operate it at a safe speed in safe conditions. If there are other ATVs or watercraft around you, keep your own vehicle a safe distance from them, leaving yourself plenty of room to stop or change direction if necessary.
Obey the rules of your vehicle. If you are driving an ATV that is only meant for a single passenger to ride, do not have someone sit behind you and hold on, or sit on your lap while you drive. Parents often put their kids in front of them, thinking it is safe, but should you get in an accident, your child could be thrown off the vehicle and sustain a head injury.
Obey the rules of the road, park, or waterway. Wherever you may be enjoying the outdoors on your ATV or Jet Ski, take note of all the rules and guidelines you need to follow before you head out for the day. If you are only allowed to ride on certain areas, or you need to avoid obstacles, make sure you are well aware of these concerns before you turn on the engine. If you are unsure of these guidelines, it is a good idea to take a safety-training course.
Do not operate ATVs under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Most of us know what happens when people drink and drive a car under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The same type of accidents can occur when we are operating any vehicle that has an engine! Alcohol and drugs impair reaction time and judgment, therefore increasing your risk of being involved in an accident.
To get the most out of your recreational vehicle experience, make safety the first priority. Wearing protective gear, following rules, and knowing what to do at all times are key factors in remaining safe while having a good time with friends.
Writer LaGeris Underwood Bell hopes this article will inspire ATV afficionados to see the fun in playing safe. For those who are injured in an ATV-related accident, chicago-injuryattorney.net is a good place to turn for legal advice and a successful personal injury claim.